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Expanding Opportunity

President Discusses Trade Bill in South Dakota
Excerpt from August 15, 2002 speech

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I just signed a trade bill. I understand some in the agricultural sector are worried about trade. I hear the same thing from some of my Texas friends. And I can understand why people in the agricultural sector worry about trade; after all, our trade negotiators in the past talked a good game about agriculture but seemed to forget agriculture when they got to the table.

My attitude is, if you're going to have trade policy and if you want to boost the economic security of the American people, you start with your strength. And one of our great strengths in this country is the productivity of our farmer and rancher. One of the great strengths of America is that we produce more food than we need. (Applause.) And if you produce more food than you need, it seems like to me that you ought to work to sell that food overseas to people. We ought to be feeding the world here in America. (Applause.)

You just need to know that when I talk to the Chinese, I'm talking about soybeans. I want South Dakota soybeans to be sold into China. When we talk to Vladimir Putin, we're talking about chickens. Every time I have a conversation with world leaders when it comes to trade, I remind them that we expect there to be a level playing field for American agricultural products. (Applause.)

I believe firmly -- I believe firmly that good trade policy will yield good jobs in America.